12:30 a.m. Michael McDowell was +8000 to win the race at DraftKings Sportsbook. Which makes sense since he’s literally never won a NASCAR Cup race in 357 starts. He’s only got three Top 5’s and had only led 88 career laps!
12:20 a.m. ANOTHER BIG ONE! Logano, Keselowski, Preece, Elliott, Kyle Busch, fall out... and Michael McDowell just won the Daytona 500. For his first career win. Are you kidding me??
12:10 a.m. 10 to go on the beach. Four Fords (Logano, Harvick, Keselowski, McDowell) and a Chevy (Dillon). The big question now is do we get a caution or overtime? Otherwise Ford will win Daytona most likely.
12:00 a.m. Did we wait until midnight to post this on purpose? Oh indeed. It’s some #WeirdNASCAR for you baseball fans out there.
Denny Hamlin had a great stop, but his fellow Toyotas in Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch couldn’t get out as fast. Wallace also had a loose wheel vibration out of the pits, and if you don’t have friends you don’t have a chance at Daytona.
There’s five Fords at the front right now: Logano, Harvick, Custer, Keselowski, and McDowell.
11:42 p.m. We’re coming up on the fuel window, which should be around Lap 170-174 depending on team strategy. Right now it’s Hamlin, Harvick, and Logano up front with plenty of single file racing, but there’s been a decent amount of passing throughout this race.
It might come down to the impending pit stop to come, which is about seven laps from right now...
11:13 p.m. We’re 70 laps from Denny Hamlin needing a statue outside the gates of Daytona International Speedway. He takes the second stage with an assist from the car he owns driven by Bubba Wallace. Could we be looking at the first three-peat at Daytona tonight? It’s possible.
Here’s the Top 10 from Stage 2:
- Denny Hamlin
- Kevin Harvick
- Bubba Wallace
- Chase Elliott
- Austin Dillon
- Joey Logano
- Michael McDowell
- Kyle Larson
- Kyle Busch
- Brad Keselowski
11:03 p.m. Kaz Grala had his tire on fire, came to the pits to put it out, and decided to go right back out on the track. Guess what? His tire caught fire again.
Meanwhile Denny Hamlin comes back from caution in the lead with 13 to go in Stage 2.
10:58 p.m. Another wreck! So much for going easy! It’s Christopher Bell (again, he’s not making friends out here), Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and maybe some others.
If you had “Ricky Stenhouse wrecks at Daytona” on your Bingo card, you’re cheating because you already have a free space. But this doesn’t look like it was his fault, as Bell just lost a left front tire (that he didn’t change during his pit stop). Kyle Larson, Corey Lajoie, Kaz Grala, and Jamie McMurray are involved as well.
10:45 p.m. It’s been a ton of green flag, single file racing in Stage 3, likely because these drivers are as tired as the people watching and they don’t want anything crazy to happen either. Some cars are starting to pit around Lap 40 of the 65-lap stage.
And we’ve crossed 100 laps, which means no matter what, the race will be official tonight. If the weather comes again, everyone will race to the line as that might be the official end.
10:08 p.m. Less than two hours from midnight, Denny Hamlin gets across the line first to win Stage 1 after 65 laps of racing.
Ryan Preece and Austin Dillon pick up 2nd and 3rd respectively, and the first stage points of the season go to the two-time defending champion of this race. Could we see a three-peat at 3 a.m.?? Jamie McMurray gets the free pass and will make up a lap here under caution.
Here’s the Top 10 after Stage 1
9:40 p.m. And speaking of cautions: Quin Houff and Chase Briscoe get tangled. They were running in 22nd and 23rd position, but that means the yellow flag is back out. This race might end by March if we’re lucky. Houff said he hit the quarter panel from William Byron that fell off as he got back on the track.
9:35 p.m. The green flag finally drops on Lap 30, and look at that Denny Hamlin is in the lead at the Daytona 500. 29 cars remain on the track, and 24 are on the lead lap. Jamie McMurray, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., and Kurt Busch will all be looking for the free pass under the next caution: They’re all two to four laps behind.
9:15 p.m. Here’s who’s out: Anthony Alfredo and Matt DiBendetto couldn’t get the car fixed in six minutes or less, so they’re done. Add them to Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, David Ragan, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, and the previously eliminated Derrike Cope.
9:00 p.m. Well here we go! All the cars that have wrecked are on pit road, and the damage vehicles will be worked on from the pit boxes as we restart here. It’s going to be a late night, and we’re probably ending after midnight no matter what happens from here on out.
8:15 p.m. We’ve got a time! NASCAR says we’ll be back racing at approximately 9 p.m., and the dryers continue to take laps of the track. No matter how long it takes, we’ll be here to cover the race when it restarts.
6:05 p.m. Carl Spackler might say “I don’t think the hard stuff is coming down for awhile.” But yeah, this might take quite a bit to get settled.
4:40 p.m. Just a quick update: It’s still raining! There’s lights at Daytona, and they’re going to get this race in either tonight or tomorrow, but it might be awhile. Here’s the weather radar as of now, which shows that even if we get a reprieve, another band of showers is right behind.
3:45 p.m. As they’re stalling in the broadcast booth, we’re under a red flag. Keep in mind the teams can’t work on the cars until the red flag is lifted, so the damaged metal is just sitting right now.
3:28 p.m. The red flag has come out after a lightning strike in the vicinity of the race. Racing will stop for at least 30 minutes.
3:25 p.m. We got a Big One on Lap 15. Oh no.
It looks like Bell got Almirola loose, and he hit the wall. Since they were running 2-3 in the race, they took a ton of the field with them. What a brutal start to the race.
Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Ryan Newman, Tyler Reddick, Jamie McMurray, Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, David Ragan and Daniel Suarez are all involved. We’ll have more as we know it. But we might be under a rain delay by the time this gets cleaned up.
3:15 p.m. The weather is going to be a factor today, as once any rain hits the track all the drivers will head to the garage until the track is dried. And it looks like we might be delayed here sooner rather than later.
100 laps makes the race official even if it can’t be restarted, but we very well might not get that far today.
3:10 p.m. As the fans put up their 3’s for Dale Earnhardt on Lap 3, Derrike Cope is into the wall and it looks like he blew a tire. We’re under yellow, but it shouldn’t be a long one. Bubba Wallace is back on the track as well as he got dinged by Cope’s wipeout.
3:07 p.m. And we are under green! The #48 Ally car of pole sitter Alex Bowman comes through the tri-oval for the first time to lead the first lap. we got two lanes of traffic but not a ton of tough racing yet.
You are looking live at Daytona International Speedway for the 2021 Daytona 500!
The biggest day in NASCAR is here, and despite a limited crowd at the race, it’s still Daytona and it’s the race everyone wants to win. Not many sports have their biggest event of the year as Opening Day, but February in Northeast Florida is part of what makes this sport special.
There have been some changes before the start of the race to the grid for plenty of reasons. Some are drivers that have been forced to the back of the field after needing to make car alterations after qualifying, and Bubba Wallace heads to the rear due to failing inspection twice.
10 cars dropping to the rear: Backup cars: Keselowski Briscoe Grala Byron Alfredo Custer Chastain ... Engine: Jones ... Oil cooler: Truex ... 2x Tech failure: Wallace @NASCARONFOX https://t.co/SIRzwvaXTz— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 14, 2021
We’ll be here all day to follow along with the action, the wrecks, and any news as it happens. The national anthem is being played, and we’re just minutes from drivers getting in their vehicles.
Here are the closing odds to win the Daytona 500 from DraftKings Sportsbook:
Daytona 500 Odds
|Driver||Winner||Top 3||Top 10|
|Driver||Winner||Top 3||Top 10|
|Martin Truex Jr||+1600||+500||+110|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||+2500||+700||+140|
|B J McLeod||+25000||+6000||+900|